Leaves of grass
Herman Melville spent summers here at his uncle’s farm as a boy, and in 1850 he and his family moved here from New York City. He had made a name as a writer by then, with his early adventure stories about the south seas. He had served once on a whaler out of New Bedford and walked off the ship in the Marquesas to live on the islands.
Here he worked the farm as he worked on his novel, and when he struggled with his family and his writing, sometimes the land gave him peace. He once wrote to Nathaniel Hawthorne, "This ‘all' feeling ... you must often have felt it, lying on the grass on a warm summer's day. Your legs seem to send out shoots into the earth. Your hair feels like leaves upon your head.”